Chilliwack – On Tuesday, October 22, you are invited to help celebrate the gift of a Red River Cart, made by Métis artisan Pat Calihou, from the Chilliwack Métis association to the The University of the Fraser Valley Library, Chilliwack Campus for the library’s display on Métis culture and history.
The display began with a vision from Shirley Hardman, UFV’s Senior Advisor on Indigenous Affairs: a backdrop of road allowance poverty, a silhouette of Métis leader Louis Riel, a dirt road, rocks in a ditch, a Métis sash, a baby in a cradleboard strapped to a red river cart piled high with sacks of supplies. It’s a story of the Road Allowance people, of the leader who was executed for defending Métis rights; it’s a story of struggle, a story of people kicked off their land and forced to the margins, and a story of Indigenous Canadians on their path to governance. This is the story that the Chilliwack UFV library is depicting in the display cabinet, in book displays in the library, and in partnership with the Indigenous Student Centre, the Indigenous Affairs office, UFV faculty, the Chilliwack Métis Association, and in the end, also with the Hudson’s Bay Company.
This story embodies UFV Library’s goals to decolonize and indigenize, our values of inclusivity and collaboration, and mandate to build respectful relations with Indigenous communities and with communities inside and outside the institution. In this display, it’s looking back to the history but also forward to the future. Learning together and exploring what Indigenization and decolonization looks like as the library supports the university’s programming in Indigenous Peoples Knowledge, the Halq’eméylem language, Métis social work, career preparation for Indigenous students, and academic success cohorts for Indigenous students.
UFV thanks the Chilliwack Métis Association for their generous gift, from 12 noon to 1 p.m. in the atrium outside the The University of the Fraser Valley Library, Chilliwack Campus. Light refreshments will be served.